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Article

Women’s Mental Health as a Factor Associated with Exclusive Breastfeeding and Breastfeeding Duration: Data from a Longitudinal Study in Greece

1
Day Center for the Care of the Mental Health of Women (Perinatal Mental Health Disorders), Non-Profit Organization “FAINARETI”, 17121 Athens, Greece
2
Department of Midwifery, University of West Attica, 12243 Athens, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Petra Rust
Received: 31 December 2020 / Revised: 9 February 2021 / Accepted: 12 February 2021 / Published: 17 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research Progress in Breastfeeding)
Background: This study investigated the relationship between exclusive breastfeeding and breastfeeding duration, and maternal psychological well-being in the perinatal period. Methods: A longitudinal study involving a retrospective follow-up of a group of 1080 women from pregnancy to the 1st year postpartum, who gave birth during the 5-year period between January 2014 and January 2019 in Athens, Greece, was designed. Women’s history and two psychometric tools—the Edinburg Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS) and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) administered at 5-time points—were used for data collection. Logistic regression analysis and a series of multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA) tests were performed. Results: The chance for exclusive breastfeeding (giving only breast milk) appeared to decrease (a) with an increase of the scores for psychometric tools antenatally (PHQ-9, p = 0.030) or at the 6th week postpartum (EPDS, p < 0.001 and PHQ-9, p < 0.001), (b) with an increase in the number of psychotherapeutic sessions needed antenatally (p = 0.030), and (c) when the initiation of psychotherapy was necessary postpartum (p = 0.002). Additionally, a shorter duration of any breastfeeding (with or without formula or other types of food/drink) seems to be associated with (a) the occurrence of pathological mental health symptoms (p = 0.029), (b) increased PHQ-9 scores antenatally (p = 0.018), (c) increased EPDS scores at the 6th week (p = 0.004) and the 12th month postpartum (p = 0.031), (d) the initiation of psychotherapy postpartum (p = 0.040), and e) the need for more than 13 psychotherapeutic sessions (p = 0.020). Conclusions: This study demonstrates a negative relationship between exclusive breastfeeding and breastfeeding duration, and poor maternal mental health in the perinatal period. View Full-Text
Keywords: mental health; breastfeeding; duration; exclusivity; depression; EPDS; PHQ-9 mental health; breastfeeding; duration; exclusivity; depression; EPDS; PHQ-9
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dagla, M.; Mrvoljak-Theodoropoulou, I.; Karagianni, D.; Dagla, C.; Sotiropoulou, D.; Kontiza, E.; Kavakou, A.-T.; Antoniou, E. Women’s Mental Health as a Factor Associated with Exclusive Breastfeeding and Breastfeeding Duration: Data from a Longitudinal Study in Greece. Children 2021, 8, 150. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children8020150

AMA Style

Dagla M, Mrvoljak-Theodoropoulou I, Karagianni D, Dagla C, Sotiropoulou D, Kontiza E, Kavakou A-T, Antoniou E. Women’s Mental Health as a Factor Associated with Exclusive Breastfeeding and Breastfeeding Duration: Data from a Longitudinal Study in Greece. Children. 2021; 8(2):150. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children8020150

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dagla, Maria, Irina Mrvoljak-Theodoropoulou, Despoina Karagianni, Calliope Dagla, Dimitra Sotiropoulou, Eleni Kontiza, Aikaterini-Taxiarchoula Kavakou, and Evangelia Antoniou. 2021. "Women’s Mental Health as a Factor Associated with Exclusive Breastfeeding and Breastfeeding Duration: Data from a Longitudinal Study in Greece" Children 8, no. 2: 150. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children8020150

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